A mattress store is the unlikely setting for the clever web comedy The Virgin Mattress
Fun fact: The number of TV characters who are doctors, lawyers and law-enforcement figures is in no way analogous to the number of real human beings who actually work in those professions.
As such, before you start scoffing at the idea of a web series revolving around a bunch of mattress salesmen, let’s try to look at The Virgin Mattress as an opportunity for these unsung heroes of retail to take their turn in the spotlight at long last.
Meet Mal (Rusty Sneary) and Grace (Vanessa Severo), the faces behind The Sleep Shoppe. Although this bedding business was originally the brainchild of one Henry McGee, Sr. (L.R. Hults), Mal’s in charge of day-to-day operations now, and with Grace’s help he’s out to make the place a force to be reckoned with.
Also on staff is their one and only full-time salesman, Gary (Chad Crenshaw), who enjoys some of life’s geekier pursuits when he’s not making a feeble attempt at helping customers.
In addition to their interactions with the numerous eccentric folks who come in to buy mattresses, the Sleep Shoppe staff also regularly does battle with Franklin Penpolen (Michael Ashcraft), owner of Bed-O-Rama, the Shoppe’s closest competition. He might not be hip — watching him rap his way through a TV ad is hilariously painful — but he’s right on their heels, sales-wise. Okay, so it’s not high drama, but it is funny.
Much like the collaboration between Easy to Assemble and IKEA, The Virgin Mattress received corporate sponsorship from VertiCoil EDGE, which offers ad campaigns for its mattresses (and the company isn’t afraid to acknowledge that their products aren’t just used for sleeping).
More companies should be willing to have a sense of humour about their products, because The Virgin Mattress manages to offer casual product placement and still ends up being entertaining.